With the snow and cold in Kansas City, Kan., I’m sure I’m not the only one staying in and watching the winter Olympics on television.
Watching the Olympics always makes me want to try to accomplish some great feat. It makes me want to start a new exercise program, or compose a great song, or write a world-class novel.
At the same time, I wonder at the athletes’ great disappointment when they are not gold-medal winners.
In all sports, there is a certain amount of chance along with skill. Who can predict when their top competitor will be playing at a disadvantage because of injury, allowing another team to move up? Or, who can know when a baseball or basketball will take a different sort of bounce and end in a completely unexpected place?
Those are the unpredictable factors that make sports interesting. As noted centuries ago in Ecclesiastes, “The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong … but time and chance happens to them all.”
I personally prefer sports and activities where everybody wins. It was an honor that so many American athletes were able to be at the world-class level and compete in the Olympics. It’s a joy to watch them all, and if they happen to win a medal, wonderful. If not, it doesn’t mean they aren’t already great.
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